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Live Gig Video: Ciaran Lavery shares acoustic cover of Green Day’s ‘When I Come Around’

 
By on Tuesday, 19th December 2017 at 4:00 pm
 

Northern Irish singer/songwriter Ciaran Lavery has no problem eliciting strong and deep emotions from his listeners. I should know: he slayed the audience at Bethell Hall Friday night at SXSW 2017. As if giving us an early Christmas present, a few days ago he shared an acoustic version of a song from my formative years, Green Day‘s ‘When I Come Around’. For those of you familiar with Billie Joe Armstrong-sung original know that it’s a pretty upbeat, driven number, so how does it come across in Lavery’s slower version, his voice only accompanied by piano? You’ll have to watch it below to find out. The song is available for purchase now. To read through all of our past coverage on Ciaran Lavery here on TGTF, go here.

 

Album Review: Green Day – Revolution Radio

 
By on Friday, 28th October 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

Green Day Revolution Radio album coverSo here we are, confronted with Green Day’s twelfth studio album, if you separate out their trio of LPs released in 2012. If ‘Revolution Radio’ were released by a newer, less prominent band, then it would be a critically lauded success. It contains elements of quiet maturity, a relevance that strikes hot to the modern masses. While some mainstream-ready punk sounds carry the album, when put into context of Green Day’s career-spanning culturally relevant and attacking albums, it fails to match up to any of their work pre-2009.

Billie Joe Armstrong and co. have sidled into the revival of ’90s punk bands that is sweeping through the mid 2010s, and they have done so with the same angst and aggression that has served them so well over these decades. The reason ‘Revolution Radio’ doesn’t stand out from the crowd is that it’s a little too paint-by-numbers. It serves as a reminder of the greatness they once accomplished with albums such as 1994’s ‘Dookie’ and their magnum opus 2004’s ‘American Idiot’, yet fails to surpass them.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDhYb6gFq_Y[/youtube]

Starting off with ‘Somewhere Now’, they immediately strike relatability. Lyrics concerning the mundanity that life can bring forth, especially with opening line “I’m running late to somewhere now, I don’t want to be”, prove that even the rock stars experience life like the rest of us. Track two ‘Bang! Bang!’ brings us straight into the fame game, with the song taking aim at the ease at which celebrity is gained even by those who commit crimes. Thanks to the technology at our finger tips, we see our ability to reach millions of people instantly as an opportunity to break through to the spotlight, and Green Day have perfectly encapsulated the twisted ideology behind it all. It’s a raging track, crafted in a way that only Green Day can, with furiously fast guitars carried by perfectly paced drums.

Title track ‘Revolution Radio’ is where the interest mildly wanes. It doesn’t really capitalise on the momentum triggered by the prior two tracks. The lyricism captures the idea of revolution, but it’s painted upon a muddied musical canvas. The same sentiment stands for ‘Say Goodbye’: driven by a stomping beat and guitars, it feels more like a leftover ‘American Idiot’ cut rather than a step forward in any direction. Anotherweaker moment comes in the form of ‘Bouncing Off the Wall’. It’s the most similar to their previous efforts, particularly 2012’s trio of albums ‘Uno!’, ‘Dos!’ and ‘Tré!’, and adds nothing to the album’s weight or feel.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9stigDCiLg[/youtube]

It’s on ‘Outlaws’ that both the album and band both reach their peak contextually. Concerning the punk youth that started the journey that’s lead them to this point, it’s a slow, wistful track that delves deep, aiming for an emotional reaction. The words “first love / first forgiveness / we were delinquents / freaks of a faded memory” allows you to perfectly envision a young Green Day, not abiding by the suburban norms that have frequented a lot of their back catalogue (‘Jesus of Suburbia’, anyone?). It’s the album’s shining moment that shows the mindset of Green Day isn’t stuck in recreating the past, but placing a retrospective for new and old fans alike to understand them on a personal level.

‘Still Breathing’ decides to pick the album off its feet, sticking to the (un-admitted) evidently biographical viewpoint, it is barraging and features some of the perfect Green Day melodic chorus that we all know and love. Breaking away from the political or darker lyrical content, ‘Youngblood’ goes into classic pop-punk territory with love being its main focus, though not without the Green Day touch: “Are you broken / like I’m broken? / Are you restless? / She said “Fuck you, I’m from Oakland!” Musically, it’s similar to ‘She’s A Rebel’ from ‘American Idiot’, stomping its way through with loud and abrasive guitars that manage to melodically hook you while the drums chug it forward.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EYmSkM7a0E[/youtube]

Throwing back to his youthful years once more, Armstrong goes back to his high school time and the era in general. Striking politically once more during the chorus “looking for a cause / but all I got was camouflage”, it’s the musical aspect that most interestingly could belong on their breakout ‘Dookie’. A perfect agglomeration of everything that makes Green Day so, it’s another high point.

For those who were missing the rock opera approach that ‘American Idiot’ took, have no fear. It returns in the form of ‘Forever Now’, a nearly 7-minute conglomeration of three separate tracks, essentially an encapsulation of the rest of the album. With political retrospect, it even circles back to the opener ‘Somewhere Now’ in its third act; though the more surprising aspect is that it’s not the album closer. That’s saved for ‘Ordinary World’, an acoustic ballad. If it were saved as a bonus track, or even a fourth act for the prior ‘Forever Now’, it would work well and continuing the album’s flow. Instead, the song grinds proceedings to a halt, especially after the aforementioned grandeur.

As a whole, ‘Revolution Radio, isn’t a bad album. It’s everything we’ve come to expect of Green Day, but in a too easy to digest manner. There are no signs of progress or further evolution, but with a band of their age and pedigree, is that expecting too much now? When you’ve written an album so politically and culturally outstanding as the much mentioned ‘American Idiot’, an album that’s so mainstream that it’s been adapted as a musical and even greenlit for a HBO feature film, where do you go afterward? Perhaps this is Green Day’s way of stoking the fire just enough to stay relevant while their years of service continue to serve them so well.

7/10

‘Revolution Radio’, Green Day’s latest studio album, is out now on Reprise Records. Past coverage on the band on TGTF can be found through here.

 

Reading 2013: Day 1 Roundup

 
By on Wednesday, 4th September 2013 at 2:00 pm
 

Reading 2009 had me acting at my hedonistic worst, scouting the campsites for (in)eligible girls, sniffing around like some kind of deranged yet voyeuristic puppy on methamphetamines. Humping the legs of any passerby (not literally, but sometimes literally), staying up all night around the campfire making sweet harmonies to Oasis (who I found out had broken up while I was actually singing, post-festival) and getting to the front barriers, only to be disappointed by the diva-esque tantrum-age of Kings of Leon.

In 2013, I found myself holding back bile at the sheer volume of ass hanging from hot pants, avoiding moshpits until my most intoxicated state and all too often feeling like John Murtaugh from the Lethal Weapon films. I was indeed “Too old for this shit” and I’m bloody 21.

Something’s wrong.

Instead of engaging in vapid hedonism then, I ensured that the bands came first and foremost.

Starting Reading 2013 with Dry the River was always going to be relaxing introduction to the vibrancy and colours that Reading Festival had to offer. The problem was that while on record, the music is melodic and toe-tappingly gorgeous, in a live arena Will Harvey’s tones squeaked like rubbing plastic on grilled halloumi cheese. The orchestral backdrop they soar along to sounded out of time, and the performance was left sounding disjointed and a bit ugly. The songs are there and when they get it all pounded down to a tee, then they’ll have a live set capable of moving grown men to tears, as they are definitely capable of the majestic. Just not on Friday… (5/10)

Flame-haired maestros of funkadelia Night Engine took to the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage after the crowing folkers departed, and while I only caught drips and drabs of their set, they showed enough promise to live up to the NME starlet billing which they have attained with their incredible work ethic. (I also spoke to them later on about pears and other stuff.) (7/10)

Kodaline lived up to the Irish Coldplay billing our editor Mary Chang has labelled them with. I mean, ‘High Hopes’ is quite obviously Coldplay riffage, ripped straight from ‘Fix You’. They’re agreeable, of that there is little doubt and they are going to grow like a caliginous tumour or polyp on your arse. The crowd which swelled, ebbed and flowed out of the expanses of the tent was testament to how big they are going to be and with their puppet-strings tautly around the massive crowd, they manipulated the masses to mimic every word back. (6/10)

After having a screech at Kodaline, the first trek towards the Main Stage was upon my party of misfits. After a brief stop for some questionably foamy Gaymers and unreasonably priced Tuborg, we arrived at nostalgia central, population 15,000 pop-punkers who have in punk Peter Pan style have refused to grow up. New Found Glory took to the stage with an unshockingly shirtless Ian Grushka and whilst they may have a sizable back catalogue to draw from, the audience, bar the veterans of pop-punk, seemed to be largely oblivious to most tracks.

However, when the Reading stalwarts on their eighth pilgrimage to Richfield Avenue dropped the mammoth choral assault of ‘My Friends Over You’, in unison a horde of teens and steadfast fans put their legs together for a pop-punk bop to end them all. (If you don’t want to know what a pop-punk jump is, go here.) (7/10)

Bringing a different kind of movement to the Main Stage were
Bring Me the Horizon, the undisputed best metal band in Britain at the moment, following on from the titanic album ‘Sempiternal’. From the opening intro of ‘Shadow Moses’ (previous In the Post here) it was brutally obvious that Mr. Sykes had in one fell swoop gathered up the entire Reading crowd and placed them gruffly in his hand. ‘Shadow Moses’ was simply spellbinding, and the drop on the song was as ferocious as I’ve seen at Reading in my 5 years I have attended.

Whilst Chelsea Smile proved to be an anthem of epic proportions. Resplendent in the new England shirt, Ollie Sykes was the frontman who everyone at the festival was to beat, as he roared for the Reading crowd to ‘KILL EACHOTHER’. The band were full of energy, and the crowd reciprocated with some of the biggest circle pittage of the weekend. BMTH had set the marker. (9/10)

A marker in theatrical terms was about to be met, with a bit of a throwback to 1992 from Winchester’s finest wordsmith, Frank Turner (pictured at top), formerly of post-hardcore band Million Dead. As he wheeled out onto stage only after recently recovering from severe back trouble, there was a 50/50 mixture of jeers and cheers as Turner’s tribute to Kurt Cobain and their eponymous 1992 set was referenced.

Opening with probably the most fun live song Turner has produced, was the beginner of a barnstorming set that was a cornucopia of singalong-y goodness and while his most recent album ‘Tape Deck Heart’, is easily his deepest cut into Turner’s troubled psyche, every song seems to resonate with a bouncy happiness. The one disappointment of Turner’s near flawless festival set was the inability of the crowd to realise when to leap up on set closer ‘Photosynthesis’. Bar that extraordinary feat of sonic unawareness, Turner cemented himself as a staple of the British festival circuit now set to rise through the ranks, Biffy style. (9/10)

After a quick bevvie break, it was time for some proper nostalgia in the form of
System of a Down. The tunes were all there. Inevitably the band weren’t though. They belted out their propaganda laden tunes one after one in succession, and on stage, guitarist Daron Malakian may as well have just stood there with the vacant expression on his face with a big sign saying ‘cheque please’. To see SOAD in their pomp must have been truly fantastic, but with this lazy reunion, perhaps it’s better that the memories of SOAD remain simply that: memories. (6/10)

Following that were a band who there was no argument that they weren’t interested, came a band who grabbed the entire crowd by the scruff of their necks and shouted a massive “HEEEEEYYYYYOOOOOOO!” We are, of course, speaking of Green Day.

And boy did they say HEEEEEYYYYYOOOOO a lot. Like loads. Starting at just over 4 minutes over the set and continuing throughout the behemoth of a set they played which included a full play-out of their sophomore (what the fuck is a sophomore album) album ‘Dookie’. For a crowd mainly consisting of 16 to 25 year olds, anything from ‘American Idiot’ was greeted with jubilatory cheers, whilst ‘Dookie’ was greeted with a sense of confusion. Barring ‘Basketcase’ of course, this provoked a seething mass of revellers and crowd surfers. Billie Joe Armstrong has this habit of bringing befuddled youths up on stage as well, which whilst providing an unforgettable moment for on youngsters, manages to break up a song and really falls flat when the kid pretty much doesn’t know the words to the song.

Factor into the set a frankly epic rendition of ‘Jesus of Suburbia’ and HEYYYYOOOOOOOs aside, Green Day conquered Reading Festival for the second year running. Congrats boys, now go and write a half decent new record, will you? (8/10)

 

Update: More than 60 bands added to Reading and Leeds 2013 line-up

 
By on Monday, 29th April 2013 at 9:00 am
 

Festival season is fast approaching and the picturesque images of rolling hills, covered in revellers swigging lukewarm cider move ever-closer. Rain or shine, a festival is an atmosphere unbeknownst, to anyone who hasn’t been a merrymaker at these events. People band together, the person in the tent next to you becomes your best mate and personal hygiene goes well and truly out of the window, to be forgotten until the pleasure of a shower on the Monday morning.

No festival epitomises the festival spirit more than Reading and Leeds. Where the abundance of top rock acts are complimented by the intense variety you can bear witness to. One minute you can be watching an unsigned acoustic troubadour from Shoreditch on the BBC Introducing Stage, only to go on the next starring world-beaters from across the Atlantic, with their own musicals and platinum selling albums on the Main Stage.

2013 will be no different with the Main Stage playing host to the Real Slim Shady, Eminem, who will surely bring all his theatrics and the tunes that we all know and love to the festival. Meanwhile, Green Day (pictured at top), System of a Down and Biffy Clyro will be raising hell with their huge riffs.

Live action specialists Pure Love will be returning to reading and Leeds after recording the video to Riot Song at the festival last year. Anyone who has seen Frank Carter in his previous mantle as Gallows‘ frontman will know that he brings a live-wired energy to his live performances, and with Pure Love alongside Jim Carroll, Frank ups the ante to bring a set which will be a must see at the festival. In a tent, chaos will ensue.

TGTF dance favourites Fenech-Soler have slowly been ploughing away, working their butts off and producing some of the catchiest electropop that is out in the ether at the moment. Their set on the Radio 1 Dance Stage will be a sure-fire way to dance off that Saturday hangover.

Another TGTF favourite Lucy Rose is returning to the festival after her triumphant set last year and her appearance with close bros Bombay Bicycle Club. This year her indie-folk stylings can be sampled on the Festival Republic Stage alongside one of the most understated, yet brilliant bands of the last decade British Sea Power.

The brand new Rock Stage will be headlined by debut performers Shikari Sound System, Enter Shikari’s lesser known alias. Lining up beneath them festival veterans and victims of a power cut in 2009 on the Main Stage Funeral for a Friend, Wade McNiel-fronted Gallows, plus Northern Irish band And So I Watch You From Afar. Adding to the talent on the Main Stage are pop-punkers We Are The In Crowd, festival specialists Skindred with their unique reggae metal sound and British punk rock band Lower Than Atlantis.

Weekend tickets are still available for the 23rd to the 25th August 2013 Bank Holiday Weekend, at a price of £202.50 before booking fees. Buy them here on the official Reading and Leeds festival Web sites.

 

Video of the Moment #1027 : Green Day

 
By on Sunday, 4th November 2012 at 10:00 am
 

So Green Day have sold their souls to the devil (err…Twilight franchise) like Muse, eh? This is their video for ‘The Forgotten’, which will appear on the ‘Breaking Dawn – Part 2’ soundtrack.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Rs2m3lhg-k[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #964: Green Day

 
By on Sunday, 9th September 2012 at 6:00 pm
 

From the band that brought you one of the most uninspiring videos of recent memory in their last one for ‘Oh Love’, Green Day is trying again with ‘Kill the DJ’. Unlike the Smiths’ ‘Panic’, it’s got gratuitous swear words in the chorus, so just warning anyone who has kids or younger siblings, it’s really not appropriate for the young’uns. Watch it below at your own risk.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55LF13WxWf8[/youtube]

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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